Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy
irina at valdyas.org
Sun Mar 2 16:34:11 EST 2003
On Sunday 02 March 2003 02:41, Jon Noble wrote:
Lessee, I'll try it on one of my current favourites, _A College of
Magics_ by Caroline Stevermer.
> Secondary Worldliness
> set in a world nearly ours = 2 points
> set in a variant of ours (eg alternate history = 3 pts
Either of these; I don't know if it's meant as alternate history (split
off at some point) or a close parallel. It feels more like a close
parallel, so I'll give it 2.
> Scale of the story
> events affect the world = 5 points
Absolutely. Perhaps even the universe, but that's only implied. Total 7.
> Good v. evil
> a villian, but still human (eg criminal mastermind) =
There's someone who doesn't die until he's got a replacement (and is
more, perhaps much more, than a hundred years old) but he's definitely
one of the good guys. All the villains are very human indeed. Total 10.
> Significance of magic to story
> Hardly noticed = 1 point
> incidental = 2 points
> down to
> Everyone has magic and its vital = 5 points
It's not that everyone has magic, far from that, but the story is
*about* magic. Let's give it a 4 for good measure. Total 14.
> Bonus points
> each cliche from Tough Guide = 1 point (but no extra
> points for the same cliche repeated)
I can't for the life of me find any, not even with the Tough Guide handy
for reference. Perhaps only that the protagonist is a young woman
misfit. Well, 1 just in case. Total 15.
> Every 500 pages or part thereof = 1 point
Well, yes, it's part of 500 pages. Doesn't that mean that *any* book has
at least one point? Total 16.
> Add all points together, anything with more than 20
> points is High Fantasy, Less than 5 points is Low
> Fantasy, Anything inbetween is probably worth reading
Sure! Comes out more High than I'd expected, though, probably because
the story is about magic.
My own work in late-stage revision, on this scale, comes out 16 or 17,
but that includes are seven points for a secondary world with maps and
a language, though the map isn't vital for the book (and I won't
include it on submission) and I only use a few words of the language
(which is fairly complete on its own; I didn't make it up *for* the
book, the world and the language had already existed for a decade or
more when I started writing it) when there's no fitting technical term
Vesta veran, terna puran, farenin. http://www.valdyas.org/irina
Beghinnen can ick, volherden will' ick, volbringhen sal ick.
http://www.valdyas.org/~irina/foundobjects/ Latest: 23-Feb-2003
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